Aug
17
8:00 AM08:00

More Ancient than Dinosaurs - Visit the Prehistoric Trackways

Prehistoric Trackways.jpg

With paleontologist, Colin Dunn, travel back 280 million years to the Early Permian, a time when this area was a tidal flat on the edge of a wide seaway.  Learn about the creatures that lived on the coast and left numerous footprints and trackways in the muds and sands.  From the mighty sail-backed Dimetrodon, to small insects and arachnids, tracks of all sizes have been preserved.  This hike will take visitors up an arroyo to the first major site that these tracks were found and collected, the Discovery Site.  Geology and paleontology of the area will be discussed. Travel on Picacho Ave./ Hwy. 70. At the stop light with Shalem Colony Trail. Directions: Travel on Picacho Ave./ Hwy. 70. At the stop light with Shalem Colony Trail go north on Shalem Colony Trail for approximately 5.5 miles. Prior to reaching the Rio Grande, you will reach a county road, Rocky Acres Trail. Turn west on Rocky Acres Trail. Go west approximately ¼ mile to a dirt road entrance on the left-hand side. Cross over a cattle guard and continue to the west past the first parking lot to the second. Dress appropriately and remember the outdoor essentials – water, snacks, hat, sunglasses, sunscreen, and sturdy is approximately a 3-hours field trip, moderate hike.

For more information, contact Colin Dunn at crdunn@blm.gov.

This event repeats on September 21, 9 AM to 11 AM, and from 9 to Noon on October 19, November 16 and December 21.

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Aug
24
6:30 PM18:30

Who's Running around the Desert at Night

Who's Running 092416.jpg

Find out how desert organisms avoid typically high, frequently lethal, daytime temperatures by adapting to a nocturnal way of life. This field trip is easy walking but be sure to wear sturdy hiking shoes. Bring flashlights (preferably 1 white and 1 UV) and a camera. Meet at the gate of the Tom Mays Unit of the Franklin Mountains State Park. There is a $2 park fee or use your Park Pass.

For more information, contact Dr. Paul Hyder, 915-244-5322, phyder@zianet.com.

This event repeats on September 21.

 

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Sep
7
9:00 AM09:00

Canal Water Treatment Plant Tour

Rivercanal.jpg

Come join El Paso Water for a tour and learn about the history of the Robertson/Umbenhauer Water Treatment Plant – aka the Canal Water Treatment Plant – located in the historic Chihuahuita neighborhood. The plant treats water from the Rio Grande to drinking water standards and has been a vital part of El Paso Water’s successful water management strategy since 1943. Wear comfortable, closed-toe shoes. For more information, contact Salvador Morales, 915-594-5400, SMorales@epwater.org.

Robertson- Umbenhauer Water Plant - Image 1 092718.jpg

 Learn more about the history of the Robertson/Umbenhauer plant

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Sep
8
8:00 AM08:00

Bishop's Cap Field Trip

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Led by experienced hiker, Mike Lee, explore Bishop’s Cap. Visit old fluorite mines and hike to the top (moderately difficult). Understand how nearby volcanism led to mineralization and learn more about the history of mining around the Cap. Meet at 8 AM at the north-side parking lot for Rudy’s at Artcraft and I-10. (MAP) High clearance vehicles are recommended or check on carpooling. The drive to Bishops Cap is 32 miles of which 4 miles are off road. Bring water, sunscreen, lunch and sturdy, hiking shoes. For more information, contact Mike Lee, mike3026@gmail.com.

fluorite.jpg

Fluorite (Fluorspar) was mined here occasionally in the past. It is the mineral form of calcium fluoride, CaF2. It is valuable in the making of microscopes and telescopes.

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Sep
15
8:30 AM08:30

Walk the Paso del Norte Playa Drain Trail

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Get some great exercise by walking the Paso del Norte Playa Drain Trail from Vocational Park to Ascarate Park. The Paso del Norte Health Foundation partnered with the City of El Paso and El Paso Water in 2018 to design and build a 3.4-mile multi-use hike and bike trail from Ascarate Park to Riverside Park on the historic Playa Drain. Desiring a healthier El Paso and partnering with the Paso del Norte Healthy Living Institute, PDNH envisions a county-wide trail system in El Paso County, the Playa Drain Trail being the first extension.

You will begin at Vocational Park at the corner of Mimosa Ave. and Balsam Dr. (MAP) and walk to Ascarate Park. There is plenty of street parking at Vocational Park. Round trip is about 6-miles. If you don’t want to walk the total round-trip distance, then you may turn around at any time. A good turn-around point is Hidden Valley Park at Coconut Tree Ln. and Polo Inn Road. (MAP) Enjoy scenic views, birds and other animals and informative signage. There are drinking fountains and exercise stations along the way. Most of all, you will get some great exercise. Bring plenty of water and a snack and wear sunscreen. For more information, please contact Jorge Castillo, CastilloJX1@elpasotexas.gov or Jim Tolbert, diegotolbert@gmail.com.

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Sep
20
to Sep 22

Birdwatching in the Alpine/Fort Davis Area

Blue Grosbeak, image from National Audubon Society

Blue Grosbeak, image from National Audubon Society

The Alpine/Fort Davis area of the Davis Mountains is one of the premier birding locations in Texas and just a short 3-hours trip from El Paso. It is also one of the most beautiful places in Texas and well worth a visit.  On this trip, you will visit some of the best places for birding.  These include the Davis Mountains State Park, the Chihuahuan Desert Nature Center, Oasis at Post Park and others. Each participant will be responsible for his or her food, lodging and transportation. Carpooling is encouraged.  Our base will be in Alpine, Texas, and a list of hotels for you to choose from will be provided. A list of accommodations will also be posted on the events page on www.celebmtns.org.  Those wishing to attend the McDonald Observatory Star Party on Saturday night will need to make their own reservations and arrange transportation. Contact Scott Cutler at 915-494-2193 with questions and to sign up.

 

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Sep
20
6:00 PM18:00

Celebrate the Autumn Equinox at Keystone Heritage Park

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Come and participate in Keystone Heritage Park’s Autumn Equinox interactive event. Take a guided walking tour of the park’s wetlands, enjoy some birding with the El Paso Trans-Pecos Audubon Society, stroll through the garden with some history, art and nature guided tours. There will be activities for children and adults.  Enjoy various performances. (Some performers may ask you to join them!) Take advantage of the vendors’ booths. Food and drink will be available.

Keystone Heritage Park has been a mainstay of Celebration of Our Mountains since its inception. Admission is $10 for adults. Children 13 & under are free. Pre-sale tickets are available at a reduced rate. Text Ruby Ann at 915-490—8571 for more information. Proceeds will benefit the Center Against Sexual & Family Violence and Keystone Heritage Park. The park is located at 4200 Doniphan. (MAP)

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Sep
21
7:45 AM07:45

Hike to Dripping Springs in the Organ Mountains

Dripping Springs.jpg

Join hiking legend, Carol Brown, for an easy 4-miles round trip to Dripping Springs. Enjoy a waterfall in a shaded area. You will also see the ruins of Eugene van Patten’s Mountain Camp as well as the Dripping Springs Resort which was built in the 1870’s and served as a sanitorium for tuberculosis patients. This is a family-friendly event, but no dogs are allowed. Meet at 7:45 AM at the Starbucks on Redd Rd. at I-10 . Park in the big parking lot between Starbucks and Kohls. (MAP) Be sure to bring plenty of water and a sack lunch. The caravan leaves promptly at 8AM, so please be on time. For those who may want to do some more hiking, meet at the old sanitorium hotel and hike to Big Ice Canyon. For more information, please contact Carol Brown at 915-630-1424.

From  Desert USA
From  Desert USA

“The oldest ruin in the canyon is the Dripping Springs Resort, which was built by Colonel Eugene Van Patten in the 1870’s. In 1917 Van Patten went bankrupt and sold to Nathan Boyd, who added new structures and provided housing and care for tuberculosis patients. By 1946 all was abandoned. In the late 1980’s, the Nature Conservancy purchased the property and transferred it to the BLM. The property is now preserved for the benefit of future generations.” - From Day Hikes and Nature Walks in the Las Cruces-El Paso Area by Greg Magee, published by the Southwest Environmental Center in Las Cruces, NM.

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Sep
21
8:00 AM08:00

More Ancient than Dinosaurs - Visit the Prehistoric Trackways

Trackways 1 (1).jpg

Saturday, August 17, 8 AM

Saturday, September 21, 8 AM

With paleontologist, Colin Dunn, travel back 280 million years to the Early Permian, a time when this area was a tidal flat on the edge of a wide seaway.  Learn about the creatures that lived on the coast and left numerous footprints and trackways in the muds and sands.  From the mighty sail-backed Dimetrodon, to small insects and arachnids, tracks of all sizes have been preserved.  This hike will take visitors up an arroyo to the first major site that these tracks were found and collected, the Discovery Site.  Geology and paleontology of the area will be discussed. Travel on Picacho Ave./ Hwy. 70. At the stop light with Shalem Colony Trail. Directions: Travel on Picacho Ave./ Hwy. 70. At the stop light with Shalem Colony Trail go north on Shalem Colony Trail for approximately 5.5 miles. Prior to reaching the Rio Grande, you will reach a county road, Rocky Acres Trail. Turn west on Rocky Acres Trail. Go west approximately ¼ mile to a dirt road entrance on the left-hand side. Cross over a cattle guard and continue to the west past the first parking lot to the second. Dress appropriately and remember the outdoor essentials – water, snacks, hat, sunglasses, sunscreen, and sturdy is approximately a 3-hours field trip, moderate hike.

For more information, contact Colin Dunn at crdunn@blm.gov.

This event repeats on October 19, November 19 and December 21, 9 AM - Noon.

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Sep
21
9:00 AM09:00

Kevin von Finger Alley Plants Tour

Silverleaf nightshade,  Solanum elaegnifolium

Silverleaf nightshade, Solanum elaegnifolium

In honor of Kevin von Finger, famous El Paso naturalist and environmentalist, walk through the alleys between Kern Place and Rim Road to discover what useful plants are growing there. This plant walk covers any plants we find, including landscaping plants and weeds growing in sidewalk cracks. Meet outside Tippi Teas at Stanton and Boston, 2501 N. Stanton, at 9am for a 1.5-miles round-trip walk.  Bring plenty of water and a hat. Contact Dr. Kappus at Southwest University for more information: ekappus@southwestuniversity.edu. There is no need to sign up. (Co-Leader, the ghost of Kevin von Finger . . . of  course.)

 

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Sep
21
6:30 PM18:30

Who's Running around the Desert at Night

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Find out how desert organisms avoid typically high, frequently lethal, daytime temperatures by adapting to a nocturnal way of life. This field trip is easy walking but be sure to wear sturdy hiking shoes. Bring flashlights (preferably 1 white and 1 UV) and a camera. Meet at the gate of the Tom Mays Unit of the Franklin Mountains State Park. There is a $2 park fee or use your Park Pass.

For more information, contact Dr. Paul Hyder, 915-244-5322, phyder@zianet.com.

 

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Sep
22
9:00 AM09:00

Hueco Tanks Rock Art Tours

Travel back in time with two different Rock Art tours Visitors to Hueco Tanks SPHS are surrounded by the vestiges of thousands of years of human history and millions of years of natural history that gave meaning to the diverse groups of past visitors. There will be two separate tours both beginning at 9 AM. There will be a different guide for each tour.

Rock Art 1 Tour will focus mainly on the Tigua, Kiowa, and Mescalero Apache pictographs. These are among the group of Native Americans who have historically visited Hueco Tanks and consider it a meaningful part of their past and present heritage. This tour does require some scrambling. (Duration is approx. 2 to 3-hours.)

Rock Art 2 Tour will focus on prehistoric images such as animals, birds, and large-eyed figures. The large-eyed figures may have represented rain or storm deities and are attributed to an indigenous group called the Jornada Mogollon. (Duration is approx. 3 to 4-hours.)

Both tours are limited to 25 participants for each tour and reservations will be required. To reserve please call park office at (915)857-1135.  MAP to Hueco Tanks SPHS. Please be sure to bring sturdy shoes, lots of water, snacks, sun protection, and your sense of adventure! Fee: $9 per person 13 and over | $2 children 2-11 | $2 Texas State Park Pass holders

 

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Sep
26
6:00 PM18:00

19th Annual Celebration of Our Mountains Juried Art Show

Painting from Paul Maxwell "Casa Bellas" watercolor on paper, 2017

Painting from Paul Maxwell "Casa Bellas" watercolor on paper, 2017

Once the traditional kick-off of Celebration of Our Mountains, the Art Show at Ardovino’s Desert Crossing is still one of the biggest highlights of the Fall COM program and the El Paso art scene. See work by local artists, inspired by and focused on our region’s mountains and landscape. All artwork on display is for sale. This artistic Celebration of Our Mountains will be in the Sunset Room of Ardovino’s Desert Crossing. For more information, email customerservice@ardovinos.com. With the current TxDOT construction of new freeways, there are two best routes to get to Ardovino’s: Take Spur 1966 or Executive Blvd. exit down to Paisano North. Continue straight over the Rio Grande River onto McNutt (273). Turn left at light onto Anapra.  Follow to signs on left for the restaurant. You can also take Sunland Park Dr. South over the river to McNutt (273). Turn left at light. Turn right onto Anapra, then left on Ardovino Rd.  www.ardovinos.com.

Make plans to have dinner at Ardovino’s Desert Crossing after visiting the art show. (MENU)

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Sep
27
9:00 AM09:00

Travel to the Past at the El Paso Museum of Archaeology

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On Native American Day visit the El Paso Museum of Archaeology and time travel to our region’s prehistoric and historic past. Learn about the peoples, cultures and archaeology of the El Paso region of the Chihuahuan Desert. Understand how climate has changed over the centuries. Of special interest is the current exhibit at the museum of historic and modern pueblo pottery. Visit the Chihuahuan Desert Garden and Nature Trails and learn more about the flora and fauna of this area. For more information, please call the museum at 915-212-0421.

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Sep
28
7:30 AM07:30

Easy Hike into Soledad-Bar Canyon in the Organ Mountains

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Join hiking legend, Carol Brown, on a relatively easy 3-4 miles loop hike in the Organ Mountains. You will enjoy scenic views of the mountains, view Chimney Rock, a waterfall and the ruins of an historic homestead. This is a good hike for beginners as well as more experienced hikers. The elevation gain is minimal. Bring 2-3 liters of water, snacks and sturdy hiking shoes. Dogs are welcome if they have been trained and are socialized.

Driving directions to the trailhead: Take I-10 west towards Las Cruces. Take University exit 1. Turn right at the light onto University which eventually becomes Dripping Springs Road. Go 4.8-miles and turn right onto Soledad Canyon Road. Watch to your right for a brown sign that says “Talavera”. Turn right there. Soledad Canyon Road turns left. When the pavement ends, continue straight ahead to the parking area. (MAP)

For more information, contact Carol Brown, 915-630-1424.

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Sep
28
9:00 AM09:00

15th Annual Chihuahuan Desert Fiesta

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Enjoy this free event and celebrate the 40th Anniversary of the Franklin Mountains State Park. There will be  educational exhibits, guided hikes, demonstrations and other fun outdoors activities. The fiesta is held in the Tom Mays Unit, 3.5 miles east of 1-10 and 7.5 miles west of US-54 on Transmountain Road. (MAP)

 

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Sep
29
8:00 AM08:00

Fall Migration of Birds at Rio Bosque Wetlands Park

Male Townsend Warbler

Male Townsend Warbler

Late September is a great chance to say goodbye to some of the summer residents before they head south, welcome back the winter residents from their breeding grounds in the north, and give a quick hello to the birds that just pass through on their way back south.  Possible birds include Harris's and Red-tailed hawks, Burrowing Owls, several species of Warblers, Ruby-crowned Kinglets, Blue Grosbeaks, and several species of ducks. Bring water, sunscreen, insect repellent and binoculars.  This field trip will last about 2 hours. Meet at Riverside Canal bridge at 8 AM.  From 1-10 take Americas Avenue/Loop 375 south to Pan American, turn left and travel 1.5 miles to the bridge. (MAP) For more information, contact Kevin Floyd at kwfloyd@gmail.com

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Oct
5
8:00 AM08:00

Three Rivers Petroglyphs

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Enjoy hiking and learning about the prehistoric culture who probably created The Three Rivers Petroglyphs located just north of Tularosa, NM. The glyphs are outstanding examples of prehistoric Jornada Mogollon rock art. The basaltic ridge rising above the Three Rivers Valley contains over 21,000 petroglyphs, including masks, sunbursts, wildlife, handprints, and geometric designs. It represents one of the largest and most interesting rock art sites in the Southwest.

 

More than 21,000 glyphs of birds, humans, animals, fish, insects and plants, as well as numerous geometric and abstract designs are scattered over 50 acres of New Mexico's northern Chihuahuan Desert. The petroglyphs at Three Rivers, dating back to between about 900 and 1400 AD, were created by Jornada Mogollon people who used stone tools to remove the dark patina on the exterior of the rock. A small pueblo ruin is nearby and Sierra Blanca towers above to the east. A detailed petroglyph guide is available at the Three Rivers Petroglyph Site.

 

Restrooms and drinking water are available.  Pets are allowed only in the campground (on leash) but are not allowed on the trails. Bring your cameras! Bring snacks and a lunch. Wear sunscreen. Meet at Howdy’s Gas Station, Hwy 54 & McCombs. There is a $5/car entrance fee. For more information, contact Valerie Provencio, 915-408-9535.

 

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Oct
5
9:00 AM09:00

B-36 Crash Site Hike

Only known photograph of B-36 circling over Central El Paso before the crash. From  Dave Etzold’s Blog

Only known photograph of B-36 circling over Central El Paso before the crash. From Dave Etzold’s Blog

Join Dr. Eric Kappus of Southwest University and Carol Brown on a hike up to the crash site of a B-36 bomber that crashed into the Franklin mountains in 1953, killing all on board. This is a strenuous, high elevation gain, 3-hours hike over difficult terrain including loose rock. Do not attempt this hike unless you are in good physical condition and have hiking experience. Meet where Stanton Street dead ends at the 1,000 Steps Trail.  Drink water before the hike and bring plenty of water, snacks and wear a hat, long pants, and sunscreen. Please contact Dr. Kappus at Southwest University to sign up: ekappus@southwestuniversity.edu. This hike is co-sponsored by the Tom Lea Institute as part of their 2019 WWII theme.

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Oct
6
9:00 AM09:00

Hike the Tom Mays Trail

Agave-lechuguilla

Agave-lechuguilla

Learn more about the cacti, succulents and other plants of the Franklin Mountains. Take about a 2-hours round-trip hike through a relatively flat stretch of the alluvial plain along the mountain in the Tom Mays Unit of the Franklin Mountains State Park. You also will be introduced to a simple way to identify the plants using your cellphone and the iNaturalist app. (Please have the app already downloaded before the hike.) Your field guide will be retired EPCC Professor of Biology, Gertrud Konings. Dr. Konings is also the Vice-President of the El Paso Cactus and Rock Club, and, with her husband, the co-author of Cacti of Texas in Their Natural Environment. Park and meet at the end of the Tom Mays Unit. (MAP) Bring 2 liters of water and a snack and wear sunscreen. For more information, please contact Gertrud Konings, gertrudkonings@gmail.com.

 

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Oct
11
7:00 PM19:00

Full Moon Mountain Bike Ride

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Come out for a leisurely-paced, intermediate level mountain bike ride. You will ride off from the Lost Dog trailhead as the sun is setting and then watch as the nearly full moon rises over the Franklin Mountains. The ride is for experienced riders - helmets, water and bike lights are required. The pace will be easy, and we will stop for some socializing and refreshments along the way. The event is sponsored by the Borderland Mountain Bike Association. For location of Lost Dog Trail, please see MAP. For more information, please contact DJ Singh, 433-1752.

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Oct
12
9:00 AM09:00

Hike Knapp Canyon

Knapp Canyon Trace Fossils.jpg

Join Dr. Eric Kappus of Southwest University, Judy Ackerman and Christi DeBates for a moderately difficult hike of about 3.5-miles up Knapp Canyon (previously named Hondo Pass Canyon). You will see some of El Paso's oldest fossils and rocks from a supervolcano. It has an elevation gain of about 770ft. and covers rough terrain and loose rock. This picturesque canyon is full of wildlife and photo opportunities. Your guides are experienced in hiking, nature observation and natural sciences, as well as preservation issues in our Franklin Mountains. The hike concludes at the “Red Gate”, a narrow slot canyon that cuts into the red-colored Thunderbird Formation, which was the ash from an ancient supervolcano.

Meet at the 7-Eleven at the intersection of Hondo Pass and Magnetic. (MAP) This trip includes a 2-miles round-trip hike so bring a hat, sturdy shoes, and plenty of water! Contact Dr. Kappus at Southwest University for more information: ekappus@southwestuniversity.edu. No need to sign up.

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Oct
12
10:00 AM10:00

Aquifer Recharge Field Trip

Aquifer Recharge El Paso.png

Come join El Paso Water to learn more about how the utility cleans wastewater to drinking water standards and uses it to recharge the Hueco Bolson aquifer. Observe where and how EPWater recharges the aquifer in Northeast El Paso.  You’ll be treated to a bird’s eye view through live imaging and use of a drone.  Find out about expansion plans that will help El Paso’s long-term water sustainability.  Meet at the Painted Dunes Golf Course parking lot, 12000 McCombs St. (MAP) Bring water, wear a hat. For more information, contact tour leader Scott Reinert, Water Resource Engineer, 915-253-20034, sreinert@epwater.org.  

Aquifer Recharge El Paso 2.jpg

Learn more about the Hueco Bolson:

Our Aquifers

Desalination

Rio Grande Rift, Wikipedia

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Oct
13
8:30 AM08:30

Hike to the Only Tin Mines in the United States

Join renowned hiker, AJ, and visit the only tin mines in the United States. Learn about the structure and formation of the Franklins, the geological history that played a significant role of the creation of tin, as well as the history and excavation of the old tin mine. This 6.5-miles round trip is generally easy as well as dog friendly, so don't forget your furry friends! Remember to bring your sunscreen, proper gear, lunch and plenty of water. Meet in the parking lot of Chuck Heinrich Park. (MAP)

Tin Mine Historic Photo.jpg

Small quantities of tin were produced in the Franklin Mountains in the early 1900s. A mine founded in 1909 and operated by the El Paso Tin Mining and Smelting Company proved unsuccessful; work was stopped in 1915 after the project yielded only 160 100-pound pigs of tin. (from El Paso County Historical Society.)

 

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Oct
13
9:30 AM09:30

Yoga in the Garden

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Conducted by Hot Box Yoga, this ever-popular COM event will meet not on the rocks this year – but in the garden, the Chihuahuan Desert Gardens at UTEP’s Centennial Museum. (MAP) Enjoy all levels of yoga surrounded by 800 species of plants that are native or adapted to the Chihuahuan Desert. Bring yoga mats, water and wear sturdy shoes. This event is free. There is parking at the museum and along the street for free as it is Sunday. There is also a parking garage near the museum. For more information, contact Hot Box Yoga, 915-740-9325.

 

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Oct
19
9:00 AM09:00

Bilingual Wildlife Hike at Resler Canyon

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Join Maryflor Garcia, the Education and Volunteer Coordinator for the Frontera Land Alliance, on a bilingual hike into Resler Canyon. You will learn about the canyon’s history, the plants and their uses, animals that inhabit the canyon, and the importance of having open spaces. Meet at the Cadiz Street entrance. (MAP) For more information, contact Maryflor Garcia, maryflor@fronteralandalliance.org.

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Oct
19
9:00 AM09:00

Arroyo Park Nature Walk

Gray Fox

Gray Fox

Join Dr. Kappus of Southwest University on a free-form nature walk through one of El Paso’s greatest parks, Billy Rogers Arroyo Park and Nature Preserve. This large, 75-acre park reveals many things about the Chihuahuan desert, and has resident foxes, hares, roadrunners, red tailed hawks, and even street people. Your guide will introduce you to the natural history through rocks, plants, footprints, and other discoveries.

Meet at 9 AM in the parking lot of the El Paso Tennis Club on N. Virginia Street in the Billy Rogers Arroyo Park. (MAP) Remember water, sunscreen and comfortable hiking shoes. This is an easy hike/stroll, although we will go off trail. Contact Dr. Kappus at Southwest University with any questions: ekappus@southwestuniversity.edu.

 

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Oct
19
9:00 AM09:00

More Ancient than Dinosaurs - Visit the Prehistoric Trackways

Trackways 1 (2).jpg

With paleontologist, Colin Dunn, travel back 280 million years to the Early Permian, a time when this area was a tidal flat on the edge of a wide seaway.  Learn about the creatures that lived on the coast and left numerous footprints and trackways in the muds and sands.  From the mighty sail-backed Dimetrodon, to small insects and arachnids, tracks of all sizes have been preserved.  This hike will take visitors up an arroyo to the first major site that these tracks were found and collected, the Discovery Site.  Geology and paleontology of the area will be discussed. Travel on Picacho Ave./ Hwy. 70. At the stop light with Shalem Colony Trail. Directions: Travel on Picacho Ave./ Hwy. 70. At the stop light with Shalem Colony Trail go north on Shalem Colony Trail for approximately 5.5 miles. Prior to reaching the Rio Grande, you will reach a county road, Rocky Acres Trail. Turn west on Rocky Acres Trail. Go west approximately ¼ mile to a dirt road entrance on the left-hand side. Cross over a cattle guard and continue to the west past the first parking lot to the second. Dress appropriately and remember the outdoor essentials – water, snacks, hat, sunglasses, sunscreen, and sturdy is approximately a 3-hours field trip, moderate hike.

For more information, contact Colin Dunn at crdunn@blm.gov.

This event repeats on November 16 and December 21, 9AM - Noon.

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Oct
19
11:00 AM11:00

Walk through History at Concordia Cemetery

Six Guns & Shady Ladies

Six Guns & Shady Ladies

Visit El Paso’s Boot Hill, Concordia Cemetery, 3700 E. Yandell (MAP), and step back in time. Meet storytellers dressed in period costume, relating early El Paso history. Meet John Wesley Hardin, John Selman, Billy the Kid, Texas Rangers, Lady Flo, the Great Western, Teddy Roosevelt’s Rough Riders, El Paso’ first Mayor and his Indian Princess bride, Pancho Villa, Judge Roy Bean, Buffalo Soldiers and more. See an Old West shootout at the Gunfight Corral, presented by the award-winning gunfight group, “Six Guns & Shady Ladies” at High Noon at 1:30 PM. Enjoy a tractor-drawn hayride through the cemetery as you visit with the storytellers and the gunfighters. Fun for the whole family! Admission is $5 for adults, $1 for students. Children six and under are free. Just for fun dress in old west attire! Proceeds benefit the Concordia Heritage Association, a 501c3 organization that maintains, preserves and protects the cemetery. For more information, call 915-591-2326 or 915-581-7920 or email pkiddney@aol.com or bordergroup@att.net

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Oct
20
8:00 AM08:00

Fossils of Scenic Drive

Cephalopod and reciptaculites

Cephalopod and reciptaculites

There are many interesting fossils along Scenic Drive in El Paso, and this easy hike takes advantage of a traffic-free Sunday morning to look at them. Dr. Eric Kappus and Dr. Anthony Alvarez will begin this field trip at the gated entrance to Scenic Drive at Robinson Avenue. (MAP) You will take a slow walk up the hill to Scenic Point stopping to look at all types of extinct sea creatures, including the largest snail in the world, ever, and the largest single-celled organism in the world, ever. These layers of rock have been recognized all the way to Nova Scotia! This walk includes a few scrambles up the hill for short distances, but these are not required in order to see fossils. Contact Dr. Kappus at Southwest University with questions: ekappus@southwestuniversity.edu.

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Oct
26
7:30 AM07:30

Visit the Sunspot Solar Observatory near Cloudcroft NM

Sunspot Observatory.jpg

Drive through the cool Sacramento Mountains and enjoy the fall colors of the aspens. Join a walking tour of the Sunspot Solar Observatory. Because of the dry air of the southwest, isolation from major air pollution and plenty of sunshine, Sunspot is an excellent location for observations of our sun. At an elevation of 9,186 feet, you will have an excellent view of the Tularosa Basin and White Sands.

The tour begins at 10 AM so we will carpool there beginning at 7:30 AM sharp. Please meet near the Taco Bell in the Lowe’s parking lot on Transmountain and US-54 – the southwest corner of the lot. (MAP) There is a $5 per car fee to enter the solar observatory campus. So, plan to carpool. Bring plenty of water. For more information, contact Jim Tolbert, diegotolbert@gmail.com, 915-525-7364.

For more information about Sunspot:

MAP to Sunspot

National Solar Observatory

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Oct
26
9:00 AM09:00

History Hike to the July 1944 B-24 Crash Site and Memorial

July 1944 B24.jpg

This hike is led by Dr. Eric Kappus and Angus Johnston. It is co-sponsored by the Tom Lea Institute, as a part of their 2019 WWII theme. You will hike up to the July 1944 crash site of a B-24 bomber. This is a strenuous 4-hours hike over difficult terrain including loose rock. Do not attempt this hike unless you are in good physical condition and have had experience hiking off-trail. Meet at the intersection of Kentucky and Memphis Ave. at 9am. (MAP) Make sure you are hydrated before the hike and bring plenty of water, snacks, a hat, and wear sunscreen. Please sign up with Dr. Kappus at Southwest University:  ekappus@southwestuniversity.edu.

Tom Lea, 1945 Life Magazine

Tom Lea, 1945 Life Magazine

BIOGRAPHY
[from the Tom Lea Institute Biography of Thomas Calloway Lea III]

THOMAS CALLOWAY LEA III

July 11, 1907 – January 29, 2001

Tom Lea was a genius of the twentieth century with extraordinary gifts as a muralist, illustrator, war correspondent, portraitist, landscapist, novelist and historian. His murals, dating from the 1930s, express the history and character of distinct regions of the United States and are found on the walls of public buildings from Missouri to El Paso, Texas. They are arguably the finest murals of the period. As an eye-witness artist correspondent for LIFE magazine during World War II, Tom Lea traveled more than 100,000 miles to record U.S. and Allied soldiers, sailors and airmen waging war worldwide. He wrote and illustrated bestselling novels —The Brave Bulls and The Wonderful Country — that were adapted into Hollywood movies, and a dozen other books about subjects as diverse as mountaineering in Wyoming, horse training in 16th century New Spain, and the history of the King Ranch. His paintings depict remote and exotic places from Ecuador to China, but primarily capture subjects found near his home on the border between Mexico and Texas.

Despite his accomplishments, Tom Lea was relatively unknown outside of Texas. His work took him to every continent, but he always returned home to El Paso—to paint and to write near Mount Franklin—far from Art World trends. Tom Lea never sought the approval of critics or the favors of museum directors. His work was placed primarily in the private collections of his personal friends.

Thomas Calloway Lea III died on January 29, 2001.

Slightly more than a year before he died, Tom Lea told me there are so very few artists with enough reverence for the vastness of the world…the definition of two things: infinity and eternity. You know, that’s the majesty and mystery of what’s all around us.

Tom’s greatest desire was to use the tools of both artist and writer to express the wonder of life. –Adair Margo

Check out the Tom Lea Institute.

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Oct
26
10:00 AM10:00

Chamizal Cultural Festival

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Come to the Chamizal Cultural Festival, the signature event for Chamizal National Memorial, 800 S. Marcial Street. (MAP) See cultural and history demonstrations, special ranger programs and information booths.  Connect to the history and traditions of the people who have and continue to live here. Listen to the tales told by native storytellers. Experience the traditions that have endured. Come to love the borderland culture. For up-to-date information keep checking the festival webpage: https://www.nps.gov/cham/planyourvisit/chamizalfestival.htm.

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Oct
27
8:00 AM08:00

Sotol Forest Loop Hike

Sotol Forest.png

Join hiking legend, Carol Brown, on a 7-miles loop hike beginning at the Roundhouse off MLK Jr. Blvd. You will walk the Roundhouse, Boulder Dash, Sotol Forest, Rock Shock and Mad Cow trails. While on the Sotol trail, you will see a “Cyclone”, a special piece of mining equipment used to separate fine and coarse rock materials. These trails are some of the most beautiful in the foothills of the Franklin Mountains. Bring 3 to 4 liters of water, snacks and a sack lunch to eat on the trail. Meet at the Roundhouse trailhead 3-miles north of the Patriot Freeway on MLK Jr. Blvd. (MAP) For more information, contact Carol Brown, 915-630-1424.

A “Hydrocyclone”

A “Hydrocyclone”

Cyclones are used in mineral applications such as in hard rock and precious metals processing because they control what size of ore exit a grinder called a ball mill. They operate on the principle of centrifugal force.

Learn more about hydrocyclones:

Hydrocyclone working principle

“Hydrocyclone” on Wikipedia

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Oct
27
8:00 AM08:00

Mount Cristo Rey: Hike Through Time

Mt. Cristo Rey and Rio Grande , painting by  Robert Carlson

Mt. Cristo Rey and Rio Grande, painting by Robert Carlson

Hike Mount Cristo Rey and hear presentations about the mountain and local history. This is a 5-miles easy to moderate round-trip hike (2-3 hours) and suitable for all ages. The Mt. Cristo Restoration Committee requests a donation of $5 for adults and $3 for children. The hike is sponsored by El Paso Scene. Hike leader is Randy Limbird, editor and publisher of the Scene. Security is provided by the Mt. Cristo Rey Restoration Committee.

Meet at the large parking lot at the trailhead to Mt. Cristo Rey. To get there, take McNutt Road (NM 273) to Cristo Rey Road, a dirt road about a mile north of where McNutt joins Paisano. No reservation is required.

Going Home , painting by  Robert Carlson

Going Home, painting by Robert Carlson

 

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Nov
2
9:00 AM09:00

Kilbourne Hole Volcanic Crater

Peridot Bomb from Kilbourne Hole

Peridot Bomb from Kilbourne Hole

Join Celebration of Our Mountains Board President, Dr. Eric Kappus, and Board Director, Paul Galvan, on a field trip to this famous volcano, which is not only the youngest volcano in the El Paso/Juarez region, it is also where Apollo astronauts trained. It erupted out tons of the August birthstone "peridot" and you can collect the gemstone while you are there! This volcano is unforgettable, and so are the rocks! Meet at Rudy's BBQ on Artcraft at I-10 (MAP) and caravan from there. High clearance vehicles are strongly recommended. The trip is 6-hours long so make sure you have a full tank of gas, plenty of water and snacks, and a hat. Please contact Dr. Kappus to sign up: ekappus@southwestuniversity.edu.

 

 

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Nov
2
2:00 PM14:00

Dia de Los Muertos at Concordia Cemetery

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This exciting one-day event at Concordia Cemetery, 3700 E. Yandell (MAP), is a cultural and spiritual celebration  commemorating our lost loved ones.  Revelers are dressed in vintage Mexican clothing complete with the traditional Calaveras (Skulls) painted on their faces, with dozens of artisans and vendors, a scavenger hunt, live music, food trucks, face painters, poetry readings and Altares (decorated graves), arts, crafts and Ceremonial Offerings.  Performances by Matachines, Mariachis, Aztec dancers, a Sunset Fire Dance performance, PLUS 10-foot tall Mojingaga skeletons roaming the Cemetery will thrill young and old! Admittance Cost: $5.00 adults; discounts for Military, Students and Seniors over 60 years; kiddos under six free. Dress Calacas or Catrinas! Proceeds benefit Concordia Heritage Association, an all-volunteer, non-profit organization which maintains, preserves and protects the Historic Concordia Cemetery. For more information: Collette Maes at comaes39@aol.com or visit www.concordiacemetery.com.

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Nov
9
8:00 AM08:00

El Paso's Oldest Rocks: Transmountain Road

Confusion Hill images by EPCC

Confusion Hill images by EPCC

Visit two road-cuts on Transmountain Road which contain the oldest rocks in the El Paso region, and some of the oldest rocks in Texas. Thanks to the construction of Transmountain Road, the belly of a supervolcano has been exposed, and you will be right inside of it. Your guide will explain the history and geology of this amazing part of the Franklin Mountains. There is very little hiking, but sturdy shoes, water, and a hat are required. Meet at the El Paso Museum of Archaeology parking lot at 9 AM and carpool from there. (MAP)

CAUTION: You will be near the side of the road, and all visitors must remain OFF the blacktop for their own safety. There will be an unofficial "Bright Clothing Contest" so bring your favorite roadside outfit to show off! For more information contact Dr. Kappus at Southwest University: ekappus@southwestuniversity.edu.

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Nov
9
9:00 AM09:00

Introduction to the Rio Bosque Wetlands Park

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Take a 2-hour walk back in time on this 2-miles walking tour of the park.  You will learn about the historic environmental conditions in the Rio Grande valley, restoration and recovery of damaged ecosystems, the plant and animal communities of the park, and the multi-pronged approach to getting water to the park.  Bring water, sunscreen, insect repellent and binoculars.  Meet at Riverside Canal bridge. From 1‑10 take Americas Avenue/Loop 375 south to Pan American, turn left and travel 1.5 miles to the bridge. (MAP) For more information, contact John Sproul, 915-7478663 or jsproul@utep.edu.

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Nov
10
9:00 AM09:00

Go on a Nature Field Trip

Photo by Benny Pol

Photo by Benny Pol

Go on a nature field trip and see the many animals and plants that live in the Franklin Mountains State Park Tom Mays Unit. There is a bird blind, so bring your binoculars. You will want to photograph many of the plants and animals here. Look for the Ash-throated flycatcher, yucca, cicadas, the common collard lizard, the Variegated Fritillary butterfly, cottontails and much, much more. Be sure to bring plenty of water and wear sunscreen. Here is a MAP to the park location. For more information, please contact Benny Pol, benny@fronteralandalliance.org.

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Nov
16
9:00 AM09:00

More Ancient than Dinosaurs - Visit the Prehistoric Trackways

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With paleontologist, Colin Dunn, travel back 280 million years to the Early Permian, a time when this area was a tidal flat on the edge of a wide seaway.  Learn about the creatures that lived on the coast and left numerous footprints and trackways in the muds and sands.  From the mighty sail-backed Dimetrodon, to small insects and arachnids, tracks of all sizes have been preserved.  This hike will take visitors up an arroyo to the first major site that these tracks were found and collected, the Discovery Site.  Geology and paleontology of the area will be discussed. Travel on Picacho Ave./ Hwy. 70. At the stop light with Shalem Colony Trail. Directions: Travel on Picacho Ave./ Hwy. 70. At the stop light with Shalem Colony Trail go north on Shalem Colony Trail for approximately 5.5 miles. Prior to reaching the Rio Grande, you will reach a county road, Rocky Acres Trail. Turn west on Rocky Acres Trail. Go west approximately ¼ mile to a dirt road entrance on the left-hand side. Cross over a cattle guard and continue to the west past the first parking lot to the second. Dress appropriately and remember the outdoor essentials – water, snacks, hat, sunglasses, sunscreen, and sturdy is approximately a 3-hours field trip, moderate hike.

For more information, contact Colin Dunn at crdunn@blm.gov.

This event repeats on December 21, 9 AM.

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Nov
16
9:00 AM09:00

Ardovino's Desert Crossing Dinosaur Hike

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Cross over the foothills of Mt. Cristo Rey to the dinosaur tracks that your guide, Dr. Eric Kappus, discovered and researches. These are the only dinosaur fossils in the Paso del Norte region! This is a moderate hike of about 2-miles round-trip with an elevation gain of about 200 feet. There is one difficult hill, but you will be on a trail the entire way. Along the way you will see the best fossils in the Paso del Norte region on "Fossil Hill" and learn about the history of the area, including the Camino Real, El Paso brick company, and the railroad which still crosses the area today. This hike will begin at Ardovino's Desert Crossing Farmer's Market at 9 AM. (MAP) Remember to bring plenty of water, a snack, hat, and sturdy shoes. Make sure to dress appropriately for chilly or warm weather. For more information contact Dr. Kappus at Southwest University: ekappus@southwestuniversity.edu.

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Nov
23
10:00 AM10:00

Visit the El Paso Weather Forecast Center

Weather Center (3).jpg

See where weather forecasts for our region are made. Visit the El Paso Weather Forecast Office, a National Weather Service center for NOAA (National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration).  Learn what the meteorologists do and what the mission of the center is. Learn about upper air observation, discuss the radar tower, see each of the forecast stations. The tour will last approximately 1 to 1.5-hours depending on questions and interests of your group. Location: 7955 Airport Rd., Santa Teresa, NM. (MAP) For more information, contact the Center, (575) 589-4088.

After your visit to the Weather Forecast Office, you may want to check out the War Eagles Air Museum, 8012 Airport Rd. Admission is $5 for adults and $4 for seniors. Children and students, free.

 

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Nov
24
3:00 PM15:00

Birds of the Rio Bosque Wetlands Park

White-faced ibis from the Cornell Lab of Ornithology,  All About Birds

White-faced ibis from the Cornell Lab of Ornithology, All About Birds

This wildlife refuge within El Paso’s city limits abounds with bird life:  244 different species have been recorded to date.  By late November, extensive areas at the park should be flooded, and a nice mix of resident and migratory birds should be present.  Bring water, sunscreen, insect repellent and binoculars.  This field trip will last 2 hours. Meet at Riverside Canal bridge.  From 1-10 take Americas Avenue/Loop 375 south to Pan American, turn left and travel 1.5 miles to the bridge.  (MAP) For more information, contact John Sproul, 915-747-8663 or jsproul@utep.edu.

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Dec
21
9:00 AM09:00

More Ancient than Dinosaurs - Visit the Prehistoric Trackways

Trackways 1 (4).jpg

With paleontologist, Colin Dunn, travel back 280 million years to the Early Permian, a time when this area was a tidal flat on the edge of a wide seaway.  Learn about the creatures that lived on the coast and left numerous footprints and trackways in the muds and sands.  From the mighty sail-backed Dimetrodon, to small insects and arachnids, tracks of all sizes have been preserved.  This hike will take visitors up an arroyo to the first major site that these tracks were found and collected, the Discovery Site.  Geology and paleontology of the area will be discussed. Travel on Picacho Ave./ Hwy. 70. At the stop light with Shalem Colony Trail. Directions: Travel on Picacho Ave./ Hwy. 70. At the stop light with Shalem Colony Trail go north on Shalem Colony Trail for approximately 5.5 miles. Prior to reaching the Rio Grande, you will reach a county road, Rocky Acres Trail. Turn west on Rocky Acres Trail. Go west approximately ¼ mile to a dirt road entrance on the left-hand side. Cross over a cattle guard and continue to the west past the first parking lot to the second. Dress appropriately and remember the outdoor essentials – water, snacks, hat, sunglasses, sunscreen, and sturdy is approximately a 3-hours field trip, moderate hike.

 

For more information, contact Colin Dunn at crdunn@blm.gov.

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May
20
7:00 PM19:00

Birding in Columbia, South America

Keel-billed Toucans

Keel-billed Toucans

Join the El Paso/Trans-Pecos Audubon Society for a general meeting during which Scott Cutler will talk about birding in Columbia, South America

Columbia, South America, is a land of incredible bird diversity with over 1,900 species recorded, many found nowhere else on earth. By some accounts, Columbia has the most bird species of any place on the earth.

Scott Cutler will give a presentation about his visit to Columbia in 2018 and will show photos of, and talk about the amazing species of birds, other animals, and the landscaped that he encountered on his trip to this exciting part of the world.

Meet at the UTEP Centennial Museum, 500 W. University Avenue, El Paso, TX. MAP

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May
18
8:00 AM08:00

Explore the Flood Site at the Prehistoric Trackways

Prehistoric Trackways Flood.jpg

Interested in paleontology? Geology? Have you attended the Prehistoric Trackways Guided Hike to the Discovery Site, but want to see new places within the Monument? Then join us to learn about the abundant marine life and to see petrifed wood and plants. Prehistoric Trackways is a world-renowned site for paleontology, find out why!

Be prepared to hike approximately 2.5 miles on rough and rocky terrain while learning all about the climate and the organisms that inhabited Las Cruces 280 million years ago! The hike will be led by our BLM paleontologist!

Bring plenty of water and appropriate footwear and attire to hike on rough and rocky terrain. You will find us in the big, 2nd parking lot of the Monument. You can arrive at the Monument by heading west from the intersection of Shalem Colony Trail and Rocky Acres Trail. Then in about 1/4 mile take a dirt road on the left labeled as Permian Acres. If using GPS, just type in Prehistoric Trackways National Monument.

See you then!

For questions, call us at 575.525.4300. 

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May
18
to May 20

Audubon-Chiricahua Mountains/Portal/Cave Creek Trip

The Elegant Trogon

The Elegant Trogon

Bird the Chiricahua Mountains, Portal and Cave Creek with the El Paso Audubon Society. Birding begins on Saturday, May 18 and will end in the morning of May 20. Plan to arrive on the afternoon of Friday, May 17.  There might be some birding that afternoon. The birding trips will officially begin on Saturday, May 18 and we'll end the trip birding the morning of Monday, May 20, and return to El Paso. The headquarters for each outing will be the Cave Creek Ranch and you’ll depart from there each day. (DIRECTIONS)

Here are some contact numbers for accommodations:

Portal Lodge - basic motel, but a restaurant is next door - 520-558-2223; portalpeaklodge.com
Cave Creek Ranch - Very nice setting, lots of bird feeders; small, medium and larger units, most with kitchenettes  - 520-558-2334; cavecreekranch.com 

It's a good idea to book early.  The only restaurant and store in the area are in Portal, so be aware of that when planning meals, etc.

A more detailed itinerary will be posted as we get closer to the event. Contact Mark Perkins at 915-637-3521 for more information.

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May
11
2:00 PM14:00

The Earliest Apache in the Southern Southwest: Evidence and Arguments

Deni Seymour May 14.jpg

Recent research provides evidence of ancestral Apaches in the southern Southwest at least as early as the A.D. 1300s. Some of this evidence comes from chronometric dates obtained from a feature type that comparative ethnographic information (including rarely used land claims documents) indicates were used for storage. These features, called platform caches, provide rare and ideal material for accurate dating because they are often covered with grass or leaves. Dates from these features, on Apache pottery, and from roasting pits, all in direct association with Apache material culture of other types (including rock art), provide a continuous sequence of use from at least as early as the A.D. 1300s through the late 1700s. New information about a western route south to this region is combined with other evidence regarding the presence of the earliest ancestral Apache three centuries earlier than many have argued, even in areas where Coronado did not see them.

Deni Seymour

Deni Seymour

Dr. Deni Seymour is internationally recognized for her work on protohistoric and historic Native American and Spanish colonial archaeology, ethnohistory, and anthropology. For over 30 years she has studied the ancestral Apache, Sobaipuri-O’odham, and the contemporaneous lesser-known mobile groups (Jano, Jocome, Manso, Suma, and Jumano). She has excavated two Spanish-period presidios (Santa Cruz de Terrenate and Tubac), numerous Kino-period mission sites, and several indigenous sites of the period. She works with indigenous groups in validating their heritage and dabbles in Coronado and Niza expedition archaeology. As an award-winning author with over 100 journal publications and six scholarly books she is rewriting the history of the pre-Spanish and colonial period southern Southwest. She received her doctorate and MA degrees in Anthropology from the University of Arizona in 1990 and her BAs with honors in both Anthropology and Environmental Studies from the University of California, Santa Cruz in 1980. She has taught, was employed by a number of state and federal agencies, and has worked for a number of cultural resource management firms, including one she founded and directed. Now she is a full-time research archaeologist affiliated with two academic institutions and the nonprofit research group Jornada Research Institute and she serves on the boards of three non-profit organizations.

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May
4
9:00 AM09:00

Tour the UTEP Centennial Museum and Chihuahuan Desert Gardens

Image by Destination El Paso

Image by Destination El Paso

Learn about our desert’s history through elegant displays of birds and animals, minerals, fossils, as well as the people who have inhabited this region for thousands of years. Then visit the Chihuahuan Desert Gardens and see more than 800 species of plants that are native or adapted to the Chihuahuan Desert in their own native settings. MAP and CAMPUS MAP.

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May
4
7:30 AM07:30

Do the Bioblitz with the Las Cruces BLM

Bioblitz.png

Experience the true Nature of the Force! Join the Las Cruces office of the Bureau of Land Management. This is truly an event for everyone.

On May 4th, in the Organ Mountains not too far away, the Bioblitz returns for its second year. It is time for all citizen scientists to explore and record the biodiversity of our local public lands. We will encounter species of all shapes and sizes — common ones and ones that are out of this world!

No experience required! All ages welcome! Come with your family or Han SOLO. Attend for the whole day or just a couple of hours. We will have snacks, but bring meals if you plan on staying the whole day. And lets be good land stewards, and bring re-usable water bottles instead of plastic water bottles.

SCHEDULE

Bird Banding 7AM
Bird Hike 8:30AM
Butterflies* 10AM
Reptiles & Amphibians 11AM
Poetry & Prose Readings 12PM
Plants 6PM
Bats 7:30PM

*Bring binoculars (we will have some available) or camera w/ decent macro & zoom capabilities.

OPTIONAL MISSION: Undertake the Path of the Jedi by downloading the iNaturalist app. Those who record the MOST observations will become Jedi Masters and win a prize.

A $5 vehicle permit will be required per vehicle or your America the Beautiful Federal Lands Pass.

Star Wars costume optional.

Meet at the Dripping Springs Natural Area. The Dripping Springs Natural Area is located 10 miles east of Las Cruces, on the west side of the Organ Mountains. From Exit 1 on Interstate 25, take University Avenue/Dripping Springs Road east to the end.

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Apr
28
10:00 AM10:00

See Texas Rainbows and Opuntias in Bloom

Texas Rainbow Cactus in bloom

Texas Rainbow Cactus in bloom

Take an easy hike on the Mayberry and  La Espina Trails.  The trails are fairly flat and are rated as moderate for hiking. See many Texas Rainbows and opuntias in bloom.

Meet at the corner of  Bear Ridge Drive and Franklin Hills Drive on the  Westside. (MAP)

Bring an adequate supply of water.  If you have questions, contact Jean-Claude prior to the hike. wilbur1111@att.net.

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Apr
28
8:00 AM08:00

Birds of the Rio Bosque Wetlands Park

Yellow-Breasted Chat, from Backyard Birds

Yellow-Breasted Chat, from Backyard Birds

Join John Sproul for birding at the Rio Bosque Wetlands Park. This wildlife refuge within El Paso’s city limits abounds with bird life:  249 different species have been recorded to date.  In late April and early May, spring migration is at its peak.  Encounter a nice mix of permanent resident birds, spring migrants and early-arriving summer residents.  Bring water, sunscreen, insect repellent and binoculars.  This field trip will last 2 hours.  Meet at Riverside Canal bridge.  From 1‑10, take Americas Avenue/Loop 375 south to Pan American, turn left and travel 1.5 miles to the bridge.  For more information, contact John Sproul, 915-747-8663 or jsproul@utep.edu.

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Apr
27
10:00 AM10:00

Celebrate Water through Arts and Culture

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Bring family and friends to El Paso Water’s Water Festival 2019. Enjoy music, dance, edible aquifers, rain sticks and a performance by Ysleta del Sur Pueblo. Join in making a butcher paper mural. See award-winning short films that explore how water influences our lives and view a Wood Water Drop exhibit.

The event takes place at the TecH2O Center, 10751 Montana Avenue. MAP

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Apr
27
to Apr 28

Guadalupe Reefer Madness, Caving and Hiking

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Have an overnight adventure with Geo-Ventures. Spend Saturday in Carlsbad Caverns and do some wild gypsum caving at the campsite. On Sunday, hike the Guadalupe Mountains reef rocks. Camping equipment required. (Cooking equipment will be provided.) There is a $10 access fee at Carlsbad Caverns and a $5 access fee at GUMO.

MEET: 9 am at the corner of HWY 180 (Montana) & Hueco Tanks rd, in front of the white saucer building (Hueco Mtn Estates)… 15 minutes east of the Loop-375 & Montana intersection. MAP

CARLSBAD CAVERNS: Saturday 2 hour caravan from meet location; 2 hour top to bottom caverns walk ($10 per person)

PARK RANCH CAVING/CAMPSITE: Primitive overnight camping

  • No facilities; some water provided

  • Bring sleep gear, snacks, personal water

  • Optional chili dinner, bagel/oatmeal breakfast and cook gear provided

  • Headlight, spare clothes/shoes, knee pads needed for wet/mud caving for evening caving (1-3 hr options)

GUADALUPE MTNS HIKE: Sunday morning roadside geology & reef section hike; location pending wind conditions (3-4 hrs; $5 per person)

Contact: Rob RohrbaughEPCC Geology: Mission del Paso Geo-Ventures Coordinator925-3957693

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Apr
15
7:00 PM19:00

Peruvian Birds

The Andean Cock-of-the-rock, the national bird of Peru

The Andean Cock-of-the-rock, the national bird of Peru

Join the El Paso/Trans-Pecos Audubon Society for a general meeting during which Flor Hernandez Camacho will talk about Peruvian birds.

Flor Hernandez Camacho is working on her PhD in the Ecology and Evolutionary Biology department at UTEP. For a number of years she served as a Peruvian ornighologist studying various bird species through banding progrms in Peru. She will share some of what she learned about the ecology of birds in Peru.

Meet at the UTEP Centennial Museum, 500 W. University Avenue, El Paso, TX. MAP

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Apr
14
9:00 AM09:00

Butterflies!

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Join Dr. Paul Hyder for a morning of finding butterflies. Learn about the different  kinds we have in the El Paso area, their habitats and their plant preferences, and what they do for us. Bring the family  and get your little ones started with appreciating nature. We'll meet at  the Nature Trail at Tom May's Picnic area in Franklin Mountain State Park  at 9:00 am. This will be an easy hike. You might want to bring water, maybe  a snack, and a camera. This can be a practice run for the North American Butterfly Association’s 4th of July Franklin Mountain Butterfly count.

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Apr
13
9:00 AM09:00

Arroyo Park Nature Walk

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Join Dr. Eric Kappus of Southwest University on a free-form nature walk through one of El Paso’s greatest parks, Billy Rogers Arroyo Park and Nature Preserve. This 75-acres park reveals many things about the Chihuahuan desert, and has resident foxes, hares, red tailed hawks, and street people. Your guide will introduce you to the natural history through rocks, plants, footprints, and other discoveries.

Meet at the corner of El Paso Tennis Club on N. Virginia Street in the Billy Rogers Arroyo Park. MAP. Remember water, sunscreen and comfortable hiking shoes. This is an easy hike/stroll.

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Apr
8
to Apr 9

Become a "Leave No Trace" Trainer

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The course will be held on Monday, April 8 – Tuesday, April 9, 2019 from 8AM to 4:30PM. Lunch will be 30 minutes long, so bring your own lunch. Meet on the first day at the BLM office on 1800 Marquess Street, Las Cruces, NM. MAP There will be a 2-hours in-class introduction. The rest of the course will be at Dripping Springs Natural Area and surrounding areas.

You will hike on relatively easy trails and in off-trail settings. Come prepared with hiking shoes, water, snacks, lunch, sun protection, and appropriate clothing. Keep an eye on the weather. In April, we are transitioning into summer, so the temperatures might be wildly different.

There will be an option to camp overnight. There is no tuition fee for this course.

For more information, contact the course leader, Daniella Barraza, Park Ranger, Organ Mountains-Desert Peaks National Monument and Prehistoric Trackways National Monument at the BLM Las Cruces District Office, 1800 Marquess Street, 575-525-4487.

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Apr
6
8:30 AM08:30

Family Desert Hike

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This will be a 4-mile and approximately 4-hour desert walk with no major mountain climbing. It’s a good hike for beginners/intermediates, families who know they can walk the distance over uneven ground. Yes, it is dog-friendly but bring plenty of water for your pet and pick up bags. We will hike Boulder Dash and Coyote Ugly trails. Bring 2-3 liters of water, snacks, sturdy hiking shoes/boots.
Meet at the Roundhouse Trailhead on MLK Blvd.There is a $5 per person park fee or use your park pass. Contact Person: Carol Brown 915-630-1424.

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From the Patriot Freeway take the MLK Blvd exit 31, turn left and go under the freeway. Drive 3- 4 miles north and the trail head will be on your left. There is a sign that says: Bowen Ranch. If you get to Jobe Quarry at Stan Roberts Sr. Avenue, you have gone too far. MAP


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Apr
3
4:00 PM16:00

The Geology of McKelligon Canyon

Photo by R. Mac Wheeler

Photo by R. Mac Wheeler

Join Geo-Ventures for a moderate hike with a couple of short, steep and strenuous sections on unstable slopes including a 20-minutes quarry walk of severely faulted rocks with slickensides. Meet at end of McKelligon Canyon Road loop (at the highest point). $5 Park fees. Wear appropriate hiking clothes and shoes and bring plenty of water.

This event has been cancelled due to sustained 30 mph winds with 50+ mph gusts, which can be amplified on the eastern slopes and in the canyon.

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Mar
23
9:30 AM09:30

Hike the Rio Bosque with CDEC

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Join the Chihuahuan Desert Education Coalition on a 2-miles walking tour of the Rio Bosque Wilderness Park. You will learn about the park's plant and animal communities, the multi-pronged approach to getting water to the park , restoration and recovery of damaged ecosystems as well as the historic environmental conditions in the Rio Grande Valley. Bring water, sunscreen and binoculars. Meet at Riverside Canal bridge. From 1-10 take Americas Ave to Loop 375 south to Pan Americas, turn left and travel 1.5 miles to the bridge. MAP For more information, contact John Sproul, 915-747-8663 or jsproul@utep.edu.

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Mar
9
9:00 AM09:00

Find Hatch Opal at Spring Canyon Dam, NM

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Find Hatch Opal at Spring Canyon Dam just south of Hatch. When the dam was constructed, dynamiting the arroyo exposed veins of moss opal, a lovely pink with delicate black lines common opal.

Join the El Paso Cactus and Rock Club and drive 1.5 hous to the Spring Canyon Dam just south of Hatch, NM. Meet at the Dairy Queen on Transmountain Road and I-10 at 9AM sharp. (MAP) Then regroup first at Jim’s Super Market, 150 W. Hall in Hatch, NM (MAP) before driving to Spring Canyon Dam. There is a very short hike to the opal veins. High clearance vehicles are recommended but not required. Be sure to bring water and wear appropriate clothing.

After the hike, eat at world famous Sparky’s Burgers in Hatch. Wow! I love their Hatch Green Chile Cheeseburger with a Chile Mango Shake.

If you have questions, please contact Jean-Claude at 915-504-4069 or wilbur1111@att.net.

Learn more about the El Paso Cactus and Rock Club.

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Mar
9
8:00 AM08:00

Sunspot Observatory and White Sands

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Take a 2.5-hours drive with Geo-Ventures to Sunspot Observatory near Cloudcroft, NM. Observe the Tularosa Basin. Learn about the geology of the Sacramento Mountains, the solar observatory itself and have a White Sands experience.

Meet at the EPCC Trans-Mountain campus. MAP There is a $20 per vehicle fee at White Sands. Since there is limited carpool space available, please rsvp by email, rrohrba1@epcc.edu.

Contact rrohrba1@epcc.edu or message via Facebook: www.Facebook.com/GeoventuresElPaso

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Mar
2
7:00 AM07:00

Go Birding in Hawk Alley

Swainson’s Hawk

Swainson’s Hawk

Join the El Paso Audubon Society on Saturday, March 2, 2019 for a field trip to Northeast El Paso.  See Raptors on Hawk Alley and wintering birds at various stops along the way.  Meet at 7:00 a.m. at the Lowe's Parking Lot at 4531 Woodrow Bean- Transmountain Rd. behind Taco Bell. MAP All are welcome.  Contact Mark Perkins at 915-637-3521 for more information.

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Feb
23
10:00 AM10:00

Tom Mays Copper Mine/West Franklin Mountain

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Join Geo-Ventures and look for fossils and minerals. You will tour the Copper Mine at the Tom Mays Unit of the Franklin Mountains State Park. Then take a hike to Cottonwood Springs. There is a $5 park entrance fee. Meet at the end of the park loop, the overlook at the highest point. MAP to Tom Mays.

Contact rrohrba1@epcc.edu or message via Facebook: www.Facebook.com/GeoventuresElPaso

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© 2019 Celebration of Our Mountains, El Paso, TX, USA, a 501c3 organization